Cookie Controversy-Soft Sell or
Some like them
soft, moist and chewy. Some like them hard and crispy. And many of
us are just wild about cookies, no matter what kind of texture or
Although the first cookies were just plain and rigid, modern tastes
and baking methods have given way to an assortment of cookie
Hard Cookie Choices
Most recipes for the home baker are for the hard varieties, the kind
that offer some resistance when you bite into them. And when your
teeth do cut through, there is usually a snap, followed by the sound
of musical munching. Of course, since these cookies usually have a
sturdy constitution, they are excellent for dunking in a favorite
beverage like a glass of milk or a cup of tea.
The dough for hard cookies can be rolled out and cut into shapes,
rolled to form a log and sliced, or pushed through a cookie press.
Since this type of dough is quite firm, it’s relatively clean and
easy to work with.
When it comes to soft cookies, the dough is more delicate. Its
moisture content tends to make it stick to the mixing bowl, spoon,
spatula and whatever it contacts. It would be impractical, almost
impossible, to use some of the cookie-forming and shaping methods
employed in the production of hard cookies for these treats. A
gloppy mass of this cookie dough does best when it’s just spooned
onto a baking sheet. The less handling, the better the results will
The soft quality is usually a result of the high fat content and the
type of shortening in the cookie mix. It can also be achieved by
adding moist ingredients like peanut butter, chocolate fudge,
caramel, crushed cranberries, jam or preserves, or prune butter.
A Happy Medium
For those who want to please all palates, it’s possible to pick a
recipe that produces both firm and flexible cookies. With that type
of recipe, the results can be tweaked by adjusting the oven
temperature and/or baking time or the thickness of the cookie. Using
the same batch of dough, a cook can make thin, crisp
cookies and thick, moist ones simply by adjusting the baking time.
The result - happy snackers!